Academics

The Frederick Gunn School values individuals and their ideas. Our students join generations of alumni before them who have learned to be curious, to question, to debate, reflect, and share what they know.

Small classes are the norm, with a student-teacher ratio of 5:1, which means that each student’s contributions are expected and welcomed. A comprehensive curriculum, with 119 courses to choose from (including 32 honors and AP classes, and Independent Study Projects (ISPs), helps our students to master different subjects and become confident articulating their ideas in spoken and written forms.

Our teachers are passionate about their subject matter and love what they do. Our students get to know them as their instructors, advisors, mentors, role models, coaches, and dorm parents. Their guidance and encouragement help students reach beyond their expectations and preconceived notions. Each student at The Frederick Gunn School receives the guidance, attention, and support of a team of talented faculty members dedicated to their academic and personal success.

The goals of our rigorous academic program are:

  • To develop in our students the lifelong learning and leadership skills they need to be active and responsible citizens, both locally and globally.

  • To prepare our students for what’s next as they continue to learn and grow, in college and in life.

Find out what makes academics at FGS different.

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A Day in a Student's Life

Academic News

Students in a break-out session from Day 6 of Scientific Thinking in Real Life

Last summer, faculty members Amy Paulekas and Cassie Ruscz began thinking about how to design a new course focused on diversity, race, and identity for a new, online curriculum the school was developing called Winterim. Offered over a three-week period in December, Winterim is intended to give students an opportunity to break from the normal academic schedule to enroll in a class that is intensely focused on one big idea or question. Courses are designed by faculty and offered to students across grade levels, which means a freshman can just as easily enroll as a senior. Many Winterim courses are co-taught by teachers who are combining their expertise, and all culminate in a final project that allows students to put into practice what they learned over the term.
 

Closed for Business by Teper Mackenzie '21

Mackenzie Teper ’21 and Vivian Boucher ’23 have been selected to participate in ASAP’s 10th Annual Celebration of Young Photographers. More than 200 submissions from students representing 38 schools across the state were received this year. Teper and Boucher were among 60 finalists selected by a panel of professional photographers through a blind judging process. Their photographs will be featured in a unique, large scale professional art exhibition based on the 2020 theme, “Quarantined.”

Parents Weekend 2020 save the date

Although things looked a little different, the tradition of Parents Weekend was able to continue this fall, in the format of what is hoped to be the first and only virtual Parents Weekend in the school’s history. Head of School Peter Becker delivered the State of the School Address via Zoom on Friday, October 23, to parents, alumni, parents of alumni, and friends of the school.
 

student completing voter registration form

On the heels of the first presidential debate last week, and in anticipation of the November election, the newest members of the student-led Gray Party have planned a series of events and updates this fall, including an ongoing voter registration drive on campus.
 

2020-21 Gunn Scholars

The Frederick Gunn School is continuing its commitment to the Gunn Scholar program in the 2020-21 academic year under the leadership of Emily Gum, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, and School Archivist Misa Giroux. Four scholars – Josie Hahn ’21, Drew Sutherland ’21, Maggie Xiang ’21 and Karen Zhu ’21 – have been selected to pursue a yearlong research and writing project on a topic of their choice. They will present their original, primary-sourced and placed-based research at the annual Rooted Research Conference hosted by the school next spring. 
 

ristin Hoins, Director, Center for Academic Excellence

The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to announce that Kristin Hoins has been named Director of the Center for Academic Excellence. Her role in the community includes partnering with Human Resources and the Academic Office to develop personalized professional learning frameworks that include coaching and resourcing of teaching departments in their ongoing adoption of emergent and adaptive practices to meet the needs and interests of all students.
 

New Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Appointed

The Gunnery is pleased to announce that LaDarius Drew has been appointed Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, Drew has been named Co-Chair of The Gunnery’s Executive Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with Emily Gum, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. Members of the task force represent the Board of Trustees, Administration and Faculty. Its mission is to steer ongoing work related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to create an environment on campus that is truly inclusive of diverse people and viewpoints.

Gunnery Gears going through inspection at Woodstock Academy

The Gunnery Gears Team 6811 will be among 39 high school teams participating in the FIRST® Robotics Competition this weekend at Woodstock Academy, 57 Academy Road, Woodstock, Connecticut. The Northern Connecticut District event is organized by NE FIRST®, the operational partner of FIRST Robotics in the six New England states. The Gunnery team will participate in a second New England district event March 6‒8 at Wilby High School in Waterbury.